With their unique deerskin faces, Cheri Calvert's leather
soft-sculptures stand out as distinctly different in the competitive world of collector's artist dolls. They carry with them a breath of fresh mountain air,
a feeling of rich earthiness, and a simple country charm; all representative of the love that goes into the meticulous handstitching of each
limited edition and one-of-a-kind piece.

The Process

mold-making"I begin by sculpting the faces out of clay. Then I make a two part plaster mold of the original and pour the mold in a ceramic based liquid called doll composition. This gives me a lightweight hollow base which I cure by baking in my oven at 350 for 1 hour. I then coat the face with an industrial strength contact cement, stretching deerskin over the wet cement and working it with sculpting tools as the cement sets up in order to gain definition to the features. The eyes and mouth are painted using a combination of leather dyes and acrylic paint."

The body base"The body consists of a wire armature covered with strips of quilt batting and enclosed in a cotton muslin bodysuit. This gives me the poseable base that I begin covering with a variety of handstitched leather clothing."

tools"Tools are minimal. I use a rawhide mallet with several leather punching tools on an old crosscut of hardwood to punch holes in the leather so that they are easily handsewn or laced together."